PLANT CITY, Fla. – Southeastern Softball opened the NAIA Weekend Friday with a pair of victories. Game one was a well-rounded effort as the Fire defeated Point University 7-1, while game two proved to be more thrilling with a 3-2 win over Olivet Nazarene in eight innings. While only surrendering three hits, Hannah Bodenhorn dealt a complete game with eleven strikeouts against the Tigers.
Game 1: The Fire jumped out in the first inning collecting a pair of runs with the help of a leadoff triple by Sam Holcomb. A couple of RBI singles by Haleigh Harrell and Brittney Robinson solidified a 2-0 Fire lead.
Ashley Appell dealt two scoreless frames that allowed the Fire to add more runs in the third inning. The catalyst in game one, Holcomb was hit by a pitch to reach first, stole second, and was later single home by a Kiah Ferrell missle up the middle.
Point broke through in the fourth but it would not nearly be enough to stop the Fire. The Fire answered right back in the fourth with a run of their own capitalizing on a Skyhawk mishap.
Southeastern proceeded to add two more tallies in the fifth inning off of the bats of Ramsey Sullivan and Kristin Mihalic who both singled.
Appell secured the win pitching six innings while striking out four hitters in the process. Dayna McDonald replaced Appell in the seventh and recorded the final three outs for the Fire.
Game 2: From the first pitch it could clearly be seen that fans were witnessing a pitchers’ duel in Plant City. Bodenhorn and Emily Carstens of Olivet Nazarene combined for 19 strikeouts and a handful of hits.
Carstens was not able to escape the first frame without surrendering a run. The Fire capitalized on a Tiger error which allowed Haleigh Harrell, who singled, to score on the batted ball by Ferrell. A wild pitch later allowed Ferrell to score. The two run lead was all Bodenhorn needed.
In the bottom half of the first an error by the Fire and a single by Kelly Rinker allowed the Tigers to cut the lead to one.
During the ensuing innings Bodenhorn locked down the Tigers. The transfer from North Alabama retired 15 straight hitters.
“Hannah was lights-out today inside the circle. She was able to spin the ball well and kept hitters off balance the whole game,” expressed head coach Anna Welsh.
The Fire were three outs away from defeating Welsh’s alma mater until the Tigers were able to push across the equalizer on a pair of Fire errors.
Heading to the eighth inning, the international tiebreaker was in effect. With Brandee Pietrzak starting the inning on second base, the Fire loaded the bases with back-to-back base hits from Sullivan and Britney Schmidt. In dramatic fashion, Robinson was hit by the pitch allowing the go-ahead run to score.
With a 3-2 lead showing in favor of the Fire, Bodenhorn struck out the final two hitters to capture the fifth victory of the season.
Southeastern will take to the diamond Saturday for another twinbill against Point and Olivet Nazarene. First pitches are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.